Snapshots of Food Industry News
Badal Inaugurates Maharashtra’s First Mega Food Park
Food processing minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal recently inaugurated the Satara Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd in Degaon. This is Maharashtra’s first mega food park and state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was also present at the inauguration. With this 12 mega food parks have been operationalized across the country so far. Mega food parks not only give an impetus to food processing sector, but also allow the agriculture sector to grow. Food parks are major contributors to the government’s agenda of doubling the farmers’ incomes and the Make in India initiative.
The mega food park will leverage an additional investment of about Rs.250 crore in 25-30 food processing units in the park and would eventually lead to a turnover of about Rs.450-500 crore annually. The park will also provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 persons and benefit about 25,000 farmers in the CPC and PPC catchment areas. The present government feels that food parks will make agriculture more sustainable.
Rasna to Introduce New Brand and Products
Rasna, one of the largest soft drink concentrate manufacturing companies in the world, has launched its fruit-based drink Rasna Masala Orange. The new drink has a complete Indian flavour with its combination of natural spices such as cumin seeds, fennel seeds, chillies, mint, black pepper, cinnamon etc. It is ideal for Indian palates, that love anything spicy and is a first of its kind in India. Rasna Masala Orange will be available in four pack sizes comprising of a 32-glass pack at Rs.40, a 12 glass pack at Rs.10, a 1 glass pouch at Rs.5 and one glass sugarless pouch at Rs.2. The brand is likely to launch more new flavours and formats in powered drinks and concentrates.
Rasna is also looking to create a new brand called Rasna Native Haat under which they launched honey. They will introduce natural and healthy products under this umbrella as that is what consumers are opting for and the reason for creating a whole new range of products under this brand. Rasna stands for fun, joy, party and they would not like to lose relevance. They intend to also introduce certain products that will be positioned exclusively for kids with marketing strategies that are children centric.
Himalaya Food International Introduces Burgers’n’Fries
Himalaya Food International Ltd, one of India’s largest vegetarian frozen food companies, is all set to introduce a healthier burgers and fries option. Himalaya Food serves all-natural and gluten-free vegetarian and vegan fast food made with wholesome, unrefined, and therapeutic ingredients to Indian consumers. The brand takes pride in innovating healthier version of fast foods without compromising on taste and flavour. Burgers’n’Fries will therefore offer ‘all natural, no preservatives, no trans-fat’ healthy range including appetizers, veggies, mushrooms and cottage cheese burgers, as well as rock salt, masala and garlic pepper fries along with specially innovated healthy, therapeutic, anti-inflammatory soft drinks.
Burgers’n’Fries is a one-of- its-kind healthier fast food brand. The products have been recently launched at a company owned retail outlet in Delhi-NCR. They wish to establish the brand as a ‘not junk food’ but healthier alternative to popular fast foods. Himalaya is already catering to globally renowned B2B clients but they are working on building a pan-India franchise chain that can reach out to consumers directly via B2C verticals. They plan to open 500 outlets under the Burgers’n’Fries franchise model by next year.
Coca-Cola India to Continue Focusing on ‘Fruit Circular Economy’
Coca-Cola has new plans for India and these include expansion of its fruit based beverage offerings and frozen fruit dessert. It will also venture into dairy based value added products and export products developed in India. The company is also planning to launch vegetable based beverage like carrot juice. However, they also intend to remain focused on ‘fruit circular economy, ‘so as to enable farmers to increase their yield, source pulp and launch fruit based products. In the second half of the current year Coca-Cola dairy would launch value added dairy products. After successful piloting of their frozen fruit dessert in Bengaluru, they are likely to launch the product in major cities this April.
Coca Cola is developing different fruit beverages based on regional fruits. Under the Minute Maid brand, the company would launch mango juices based on mango varieties that are available and popular in a particular region so that there is also a local connect. The fruit pulp content would be between10 per cent to 25 per cent in such drinks. They have tied up with Jain Irrigation for sourcing and pulping mango fruit. Similarly they have a tie up with that company for oranges in Maharashtra. They will also expand their portfolio of fruit flavoured sparkling drinks like Fanta and are working on a product, based on gooseberries.
Online Grocery BigBasket to Have Offline Kiosks
After the $300 million investment by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, online grocer BigBasket is likely to launch off line kiosks. Just like Amazon and Flipkart, it is also keen to go beyond its online-only model so as to beat the competition. The offline kiosks will stock daily groceries, fast-moving consumer goods, fruits and vegetables. These kiosks will be installed across various apartments and office complexes. BigBasket has already started a pilot for the new service with a separate app called BB Instant. They would like to scale up their kiosks to at least 1000 across the country for aggressive growth.
Based on the initial feedback, they will sell certain stock keeping units (SKUs) in these kiosks which can be instantly bought by a shopper after using the app. Off-line kiosk models are aimed at servicing the instant delivery market so as to push sales. Indians like fresh items as far as fruits and vegetables are concerned. It is also likely to start a subscription service for essential items like milk and bread so as to increase customer purchasing frequency. At present, on an average, a user purchases thrice a month on BigBasket. BigBasket is looking to clock monthly sales to Rs.300 crore over the next six months from about Rs.200 crore.
Food and Beverage Companies to Cut Salt and Sugar Content in Foods
Over the next 12 to 18 months, Nestle will cut salt content in instant noodles Maggi by 10 percent keeping in mind consumer preference for healthy foods. In the last few years Maggi, which contributes around 35 percent of Nestle India’s growth, has cut salt content by more than 33 percent. Consumer preferences are shifting and any product that is perceived to have high sugar, salt or chemical content is rejected by consumers. Consumers are also leaning towards natural products. Just like Maggi even beverage companies like Coke and PepsiCo are reducing sugar content in their beverages. Coca-Cola is working to reduce the sugar content in its drinks and in five years’ time the beverages sold by the company will have far less sugar content than what it currently has.